You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 1 Thessalonians 1:5-7 (NIV)
As leaders, you and I are responsible for finding good models to emulate. Give great thought to which leaders you follow because they determine your course as a leader. I have developed six questions to ask before choosing a model to follow:
- Does my model’s life deserve a following?
- Does my model’s life have a following?
- What is the main strength that influences others to follow my model?
- Does my model reproduce other leaders?
- Is my model’s strength reproducible in my life?
- If my model’s strength is reproducible in my life, what steps must I take to develop and demonstrate that strength?
The models we choose may or may not be accessible to us in a personal way. Studying national or historical figures can certainly benefit you, but not the way a personal mentor can.